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SwiftKey speedy touch-typing for Android out now

Now available on the Android Market -- a full version of a keyboard app that uses uncanny artificial intelligence to predict which word you're going to type before you've even written it.

Those of you on Android without Swype support or simply looking for a decent alternative to the OS' occasionally ropey predictive text should praise the Friday gods, as the full version of SwiftKey is now available.

SwiftKey is a keyboard app that uses artificial intelligence to learn your touchscreen typing style, completing words and sentences. It's already been quite a success as a public beta, with downloads counted at more than 250,000.

It differs from Swype in that as well as predicting the letters that make up single words, it also uses the AI to learn your style, predicting the next words you're likely to type. It seems to be a matter of opinion of what's better. The swiping handwriting feel of Swype is very different to SwiftKey, where you type traditionally, albeit with enhanced predictivosity.

SwiftKey is also available for any Android user to download, while Swype isn't. Swype was available as a beta download, but this closed in June, with the creators targeting it more as a feature of a phone rather than as a downloadable app.

The secret to how SwiftKey works is its Fluency prediction engine, which uses various techniques to analyse sentences to see how words combine. The tech can also learn from message archives and typing over time. The new SwiftKey app will support voice dictation and multi-touch, has a new keyboard layout from the beta, and is capable of making simultaneous predictions in two languages.

"We're developing new techniques based on machine learning that will blow away today's keyboard technology. Watch this space," SwiftKey's chief techy Ben Medlock said.

Normally you would have to download the app from the Android market for £2.50, but it's just 60p until the end of the month under a special offer.

This is a very interesting bit of technology and so far it has had good feedback from those who have used it. Please have a go and tell us what you think. In the meantime, here's a demo video.